Nottinghamshire creation Spike on a Bike has today been revealed as the winner of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain Land Art Competition for 2022.
Giant hedgehog Spike, who was made from recycled objects including wood, plant pots and bin lids, was spotted riding his bike across the recreation grounds in Keyworth, near the start of the stage five route.
The installation also featured in the race’s live TV broadcast, which is available in over 150 countries worldwide.
Ecological education collective Wild Things Keyworth and local community non-profit group Keyworth Abundance worked with local artist Liz Waddell to design Spike over a cup of coffee.
Their inspiration was to raise awareness of their ongoing project to protect hedgehogs, of which there are less than one million left in the country.
Volunteers for local initiative Keyworth Hedgehog Highway have successfully drilled 110 gaps in local fences, walls and gates in the last year to help hedgehogs pass into gardens.
The judging panel, comprising AJ Bell Tour of Britain staff including race director Mick Bennett, chose this entry for its meaningful narrative, as well as its captivating appearance.
Tracey Lloyd, Keyworth Abundance representative, said:
“I thought the idea of Spike on a Bike would be a great way to celebrate the wonderful Tour of Britain and get more recognition for the amazing work being done locally.
“By creating hedgehog highways we’re helping these wonderful creatures have more safe routes in our village. I’m thrilled that the judges liked our design and I hope it helps other places to follow Keyworth’s lead.”
Artist Liz Waddell said: “It was such a thrill when our drone went up and we saw what we had created just from a hasty sketch on an A4 piece of paper, found materials and with no
experience of this kind of thing before. We were very pleased with ourselves and felt it really got our message across.”
Jenni Manning-Ohren, Wild Things Keyworth founder, said:
“We wanted to raise awareness of the wild British hedgehog nationally as they are Red Listed and the waving hand is there to remind us all that we need to do something to help reverse their fortunes.”
“We were over the moon to get on the ITV4 live broadcast and it was awesome when [commentator] Ned Boulting asked ‘Is that a hedgehog on a bike?’”
“Thanks also to the many volunteers who came forward within the community and the school children who were fascinated to see how something on the ground could look so different and effective from way up high!”
“We are really attached to Spike and we are hoping to get smaller versions in place around the village.”